Russian missile strike near Odesa kills 18 Ukrainians, including 2 children, government says

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At least 18 Ukrainians, including two children, were killed and another 30 injured in Russian missile attacks near the southern port city of Odesa early Friday, the Ukrainian government said. 

The attacks were centered on a residential area of the small town of Serhiivka, around 30 miles southwest of Odesa. Missiles rained down on an apartment building – where 16 of the 18 died – and a resort, local news reports said. 

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, first responders try to extinguish flames at a residential building in Odesa, Ukraine, early Friday, July 1, 2022, following Russian missile attacks. Ukrainian authorities said Russian missile attacks on residential buildings in the port city of Odesa have killed more than a dozen people.
(Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

Russian troops pulled out of nearby Snake Island on Thursday, which they had strategically taken near the beginning of the invasion to potentially attack Odesa. 

Russia called the pullout a “goodwill” gesture but Ukraine said it was a retreat from Ukraine’s artillery attacks. 

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“A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they fight civilians,” Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said of Friday’s attack. 

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits a training base of the National Guard, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Odesa region, Ukraine June 18, 2022.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits a training base of the National Guard, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Odesa region, Ukraine June 18, 2022.

RUSSIAN FORCES ‘HURRIEDLY EVACUATED’ INFAMOUS SNAKE ISLAND, SAYS UKRAINIAN MILITARY 

Russia failed to take Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in the early days of the war and has since refocused its ground forces on capturing the disputed eastern Donbas region. 

It has also doubled its missile attacks across the rest of the country, Reuters reported. 

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, first responders work a damaged residential building in Odesa, Ukraine, early Friday, July 1, 2022, following Russian missile attacks. Ukrainian authorities said Russian missile attacks on residential buildings in the port city of Odesa have killed more than a dozen people.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, first responders work a damaged residential building in Odesa, Ukraine, early Friday, July 1, 2022, following Russian missile attacks. Ukrainian authorities said Russian missile attacks on residential buildings in the port city of Odesa have killed more than a dozen people.
(Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

RUSSIA REMOVES TOP COMMANDERS OVER WAR FAILURES, UK DEFENSE MINISTRY SAYS

On Monday, a missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, in central Ukraine, killed at least 19 people and injured another 62, authorities said Friday.

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Russia has been repeatedly accused of targeting civilians and of war crimes, including child rape, all of which the country denies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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